November and Thanksgiving are synonymous with one another so it should come as no surprise that the majority of this #FunFactFriday post will focus on America’s most gratifyingly gluttonous holiday.
For the most part, we all know the back-story of the first Thanksgiving—or the most popular story, that is. It took place in Plymouth Colony, better known to the layperson as Massachusetts, in 1621. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving.
However, it wasn’t until 1941 that Congress made Thanksgiving Day an official holiday. And we have Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of the classic nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” to thank for this. She petitioned for a national Thanksgiving holiday for close to 40 years!
But enough with this stuffing, let’s talk turkey!
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, producing between 44 – 46 million turkeys annually;
- In fact, five other states are key players in our nation’s tremendous turkey consumption—North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia and Indiana. These six states combined account for nearly two-thirds of the 248 million turkeys that are raised in the U.S. annually;
- When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington corner the market at our nation’s top growing states;
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long! It was baked on October 8, 2015 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers;
- The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924 and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, more than 3 million people attend the parade and another 22 million watch it on TV;
- The first time the Detroit Lions played football on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when they hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium. Since then, the Lions have played every Thanksgiving (except between 1939 and 1944).
- There are four places in the U.S. named Turkey—Turkey Creek, La., Turkey, Texas, Turkey, N.C. and Turkey Creek, Ariz.;
- Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving, too! The first official Thanksgiving in Canada was in 1879 and they continue to celebrate it on the second Monday in October.
Are there any other notable days in November? There sure are!
- Sandwich Day—behold, it’s today!
- Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11);
- Clean Your Refrigerator Day (Nov. 15);
- Take a Hike Day (Nov. 17);
- French Toast Day (Nov. 28)